Sourdough Ciabatta!



I decided I needed to jump on the bread-baking bandwagon once again. I got a little lazy for a while there and haven't made any bread, but I have been itching to start back up again. There are so many amazing breads out there, I need to stop making the same-old-same-old and try something new!

Bread Baking Day #49 was hosted by Cravo e Canela, and she challenged us to make the best Italian inspired bread that we could! Sounded like a perfect time to try Ciabatta to me!

 I decided to try my hand at Sourdough Ciabatta because my starter, Felix, was looking a little languished in the back of the fridge. I know, I know, how is that even possible?! But with all the allergies, moving, and other ridiculousness going on lately, I just haven't had a lot of time to play.

Ciabatta, if you have never made it before, is a very wet, very sticky dough. Not so much a "bread dough" as a "dough soup".  The original directions state to mix and knead everything by hand, on a "bed" of flour, without getting any extra flour in the dough, of course. I could tell right away that was not really going to work for me. I just can't have a giant sticky oozing mess all over my counter and be trying to not incorporate any more flour in and keep my cool. It just doesn't happen. So I adapted the recipe for using the machine, and while it was still a sticky soupy mess, it wasn't as big of an "oozy floury mess all over my kitchen".



Sourdough Ciabatta (adapted from Wild Yeast and "The Bread Bible" byRose Levy Beranbaum )

465 grams flour
76 grams whole wheat flour
17 grams salt
26 grams olive oil
610 grams mature 100% hydration sourdough starter (that's a lot, I know, so be prepared!!)
355 grams water
extra white flour for dusting

In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, salt, olive oil, and 280 grams of water until the ingredients cohere.
Switch to the dough hook and knead for 10 minutes.
Add the rest of the water to the dough and mix slowly until it is absorbed. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment at room temperature for 30 minutes.
While keeping the dough mostly in the bowl, grab two ends of the dough, pull and stretch it (imagine taffy) and fold it back on itself. This is a messy, and more like oozing than folding. Repeat.
Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap again and allow it to ferment for another 30 minutes.
Repeat the folding, then re-cover the dough and allow it to sit for another 30 minutes.
Place the covered bowl in the fridge and let it sit overnight (7-12 hours).
In the morning, take the dough out of the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours.
Liberally dust your counter with flour, and turn the dough out onto it.
Sift a little flour on top of the dough.
Starting at the center, and being careful not to deflate the dough too much, use your fingertips to gently stretch the dough out into a rectangle.
Cut the rectangle in half with a pastry scraper so that you form two loaves.
Take each loaf and push the sides in a bit, gently forming each half of the dough into a "loaf" shape (about 10-11 inches long and about 4-5 inches wide).
Place each loaf onto a floured couche, sift a little flour on top, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1.5-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 475 Degrees, with a baking stone on the middle rack and a cast iron pan on the bottom rack.
Gently and quickly transfer the loaf from the couche to the baking stone.
Toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the cast iron skillet below, and close the door.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 450 and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown (rotate the bread at 10 minutes to ensure even baking).
Turn off the oven, leave the bread in the oven, and crack the door open with a wooden spoon wrapped in foil, and allow the bread to cool for 5 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack until completely cool.
Brush off any flour from the surface of the bread.


The Daring Bakers Make Armenian Nutmeg Cake!


The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.


Hello. My name is Jenni, and I am now addicted to Armenian Nutmeg Cake. 


I was really excited to try this month's challenge for the Daring Bakers! I totally planned on making both the Nazook and the Nutmeg cake, but one thing let to another and I only got around to the cake. If the Nazook is as amazing as this cake was, though, I definitely still plan on making it! It might not be much to look at (although you can't tell by the sheet number of photos of this cake!) but this cake has amazing flavor! It is very moist and fragrant, and I love the brown sugar crust! The three principle ingredients that shine here are brown sugar, nutmeg, and walnuts, perfect companions! 


Aren't my helpers so sweet? I was actually really shocked when I realized I had more than one picture without chubby little toddler fingers (or daddy fingers) in them. You would think I would learn to take more photos during naptime, but she looooves "helping" her Mama so much. And her food styling help cracks me up, even when she is grabbing food off the plates, leaving a massive crumb trail, and then fighting me for the plate itself. You can only see one tiny white paw in the photo below, but there were two four-legged helpers hovering around me, too - on crumb patrol, no doubt.



I hope you take the time to try this cake out! It is beautifully simple and delicious, a perfect treat for any time during the day (even right after breakfast...or with breakfast...). Like I said, I am addicted to this cake, I could not stop eating it, and I hope you will feel the same way about it! Thank you so much Jason for bringing us this awesome cake! 



Armenian Nutmeg Cake (adapted from The Commonsense Cookery Book, by the NSW Cookery Teachers’ Scholarship Fund.)

1 cup milk
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup walnut pieces (break them up with your hand, you don't really want them chopped, but you don't want them whole, either)
1-1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (you can also use cinnamon and/or cardamom as a substitute, or use a combination)
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 350.
In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and the milk. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the baking powder and flour.
Whisk in the brown sugar.
Using a fork (or your fingers) mash in the butter until you get a more-or-less uniform crumbly mixture.
Press HALF of this mixture into the bottom of a springform pan to form a crust. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and the nutmeg for 2-3 minutes, or until it is mixed well and frothy.
Pour the milk in and whisk until combined.
Pour this over the remaining half of the crumbly mixture, and whisk until it is incorporated (it will be very liquidy)
Pour the liquid over the crust in the springform.
Gently and evenly sprinkle the walnut pieces on top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan, and then release.
Enjoy!


Strawberry Jam Bars


Hello dear friends! I hope you had a marvelous weekend. We had big plans to go to a particular state park a few hours away and spend the day climbing rocks, poking around in caves and looking at waterfalls. We were also going to stop by Chipotle on our way there, of course, since its been almost a whole year since we had our favorite restaurant ever! 


But of course, we forgot to play the whole "responsible adult" card and didn't check the weather forecast. We woke up to 40 DEGREES and RAIN! Ugh! So much for our family outing at the park. So instead we did a family outing to the mall, haha, and also did a bit of packing.  Our "library" is officially packed now, except for a few books here and there. There are, um, a lot of boxes of books. To be fair, I packed books in small boxes so they wouldn't get too heavy. But there are still A LOT of them! Can anyone guess how many boxes of books we have?


These jam bars were made for the bake sale I did last week. They were so simple and quick to put together, but were so amazing to snack on! I wish I had made a bigger batch so we could have eaten more. The combination of preserves and oats kind of fools you into thinking you could eat them for breakfast. And I promise not to tell anyone if you do, but only if you promise not to tell on me. 




Strawberry Jam Bars (A Feathered Nest)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cubed
1 jar (10-12 ounces) strawberry preserves, or flavor of your choice

Preheat the oven to 350.
Butter (or spray) an 8" square baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour/oats until the mixture is course and even.
Press half of the oats/flour mixture into the bottom of the pan.
Spread the preserves on top.
Sprinkle the remaining oat/flour mixture on top of the preserves and gently press down.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until lightly golden and bubbly.
Place the baking dish on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
Enjoy!

Chicken Pad Thai


Has this week just flown by for anyone else? Between all the activities we had going on this week, plus our continued struggle with the worst seasonal allergies ever, and Joel's crazy work schedule, we are all exhausted! I even cut out several play dates and errands this week, and Ainsley actually turned down an opportunity to go to the park so we could just stay home. 


We have had lots of opportunity for cuddling on the couch, reading, and coloring. We also pulled a giant box out of storage and have been having a really fun time playing hide and seek with the box! Sometimes you need to remember that the simple things are the best in life, and what is better than crayons and a big empty box?


This started out as one specific recipe that I wanted to try. But when I came time to make dinner, I couldn't remember where I had found the recipe. In my search, I found three other recipes that looked good, too, but they were all slightly different. I really liked various aspects of each of the recipes, so I decided to combine them all together and create my own recipe from it. We really enjoyed how this turned out! There was so much great flavor here, and so many veggies, it was so good! I don't think you can quite call this an authentic recipe, but it is delicious! 




Chicken Pad Thai (recipe by Jenni)


Linguini Noodles
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tsp olive oil
Broccoli, chopped
1/2 red pepper, diced
Carrots, julienned
1/4 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 lime, cut in half
3 TBSP brown sugar
3 TBSP rice vinegar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 TBSP soy sauce
3 TBSP peanut butter
1 TBSP sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 eggs
1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts

In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, lime juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and peanut butter. Mix until smooth and set aside.
Cook the linguini noodles according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Cook the chicken pieces 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through.
Remove and set aside.
Crack the eggs into the same skillet, and cook. (you an either cook them as a hard fried egg and then cut into pieces or scramble them and cook that way). Remove and set aside.
Place the sesame oil into the pan, along with the broccoli, red pepper, carrots, garlic, and ginger.
Sautee until the vegetables are tender, but still firm.
Add the cooked noodles, sauce, chicken, and egg back to the pan.
Stir until well coated, evenly distributed, and heated through.
Distribute into 5 bowls, sprinkle evenly with peanuts and Enjoy!

Sourdough Pretzels


It's time for another round up of Sourdough Surprises! This month we made pretzels, and they were a lot of fun to make! I ended up using two different recipes. The first recipe I tried was this one, and while Shelley got awesome results from it, I just...didn't. My dough never rose, and I ended up with the toughest, chewiest pretzels ever. So I turned to a different recipe and got much better results!!!

I did two kinds of pretzels - one actual pretzel shape, and then I also made some little pretzels sticks that I coated in cinnamon and sugar. Oh yum! They were awesome! We all loved snacking on them!


Some fun facts about pretzels: Pretzels were invented by Christian monks and given to children who had learned their prayers (the twists are supposed to resemble arms folded in prayer). The pretzel became a sign of lent, because it was a good food that could be eaten while still abstaining from meat and dairy products. Families would hide pretzels for children to find instead of Easter eggs! I had thought that there was some significance to how many times the pretzel was twisted, but I couldn't find any facts about that at all, so maybe I just made it up!





Sourdough Pretzels (King Arthur Flour)
Yield: 12 pretzels

3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup unfed sourdough starter, straight from the fridge
3 cups flour
1/4 cup dry, powdered milk
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast

topping:
1 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP water
course ground salt
2 TBSP butter, melted

Mix and knead the dough ingredients until it is fairly smooth (it should be fairly sticky).
Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, fold the dough over itself a few times to deflate it.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece of dough into an 18" rope.
Shape the rope into a pretzel!
Dissolve the sugar (for the topping) in the water and brush onto the tops of each pretzel.
Sprinkle the pretzels lightly with salt.
Bake the pretzels for 25-35 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown.
Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush with melted butter.


Butterbeer Blondies




Things have been a mixture of both crazy hectic and restful lately. My "To-Do" list is long and my calendar is full, but the weather has been utterly gorgeous lately and I find myself curled in a chair reading every chance I get. Our crazy schedule must be wearing Ladybug out, because she has been taking some epic naps this week (the other day she napped from 12:30 to 5!!!) 


Instead of taking care of things I should be doing, or need to be doing (like dishes and laundry), I find myself doing things that I want to be doing. Like planning someone's second birthday party (two months early...) or reading an entire book in two days (I haven't done that in so long, I love it!) 


I made these amazing bars for a bake sale that I helped out with last week. I have been wanting to make them for a while, and so I jumped at the chance to actually make them! In truth, they are butterscotch and caramel bars, but I am really certain that they taste just like getting a Butterbeer from The Three Broomsticks. It is super rich, buttery, caramely and butterscotchy. The bars themselves are perfect -gooey and soft. They make me want to go back and read the Harry Potter series again (for the 11th time) or at least have a marathon movie watching day (for the 85th time). After turning in all my bars for the bake sale, Joel and I snacked on the few crumbs and crusty edges I left for us, and were immediately sad that I gave them all away. I've already been asked told that I need to make these again, and soon. And I whole heartedly agree! In fact, I might make them again tomorrow! 


Butterbeer Blondies (Sugarcrafter)

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3 TBSP caramel 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 325.
Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars and until smooth.
Add in the egg and beat for 1 minute.
Beat in the caramel and vanilla.
Gradually add the dry ingredents until just combined.
Using a rubber spatula, stir in the butterscotch chips.
Evenly spread the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (the inside will still be a little gooey), and the top is golden brown.
Transfer the dish to the top of a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
Enjoy!



The Daring Cooks Play Roulette



Something is seriously wrong with me. No, I'm not dying, but I am pretty sure I have become crazy. See, it all started about three months ago when our coffee maker went nuts. One day, instead of making a full pot of normal strength coffee it made 2 cups of triple strength coffee. And then the next day it made a full pot of hot water. And then the next day it wouldn't even turn on. Any normal person would go out and replace it immediately, right? Well, apparently not me. I've been switching back and forth between a french press and a percolator for three months now.



And while it definitely takes a little longer for my morning cup of sunshine now, it has been working ok. Until this week. Joel started a new rotation this month, and he has been going in super early in the morning, before the hospital's cafe opens up. Which means he can't get his morning cup of coffee. He can't babysit the stove and take a shower at the same time, and so that has left only one option. And it's probably not the one you think. Because instead of going out to the store and buying a new coffee maker like anyone in their right mind would, I've been getting up at 4:30 to make my darling a cup of coffee. At least I have been going back to bed afterward, but by 2:00 I am draaaaaaaaging. I don't know how Joel does it.



The really crazy part of this story comes into play now, when I tell you that I went to Wal-Mart this morning, and spent a good 20 minutes looking at coffee makers. But didn't buy one! I did a fantastic job of turning up my nose at them all, either being too expensive, not enough cups, too many buttons, whatever the issue, I could find something wrong with it, until finally Ladybug decided that enough was enough and we left. And that is why I am crazy. Seriously.

Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!


I almost skipped this challenge. Not because I didn't think I couldn't do it, but because I was kind of too tired to put forth the mental capacity to actually think about it. But then Shelley started taunting me and calling me "scardy-cat", among other names, so I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I have been craving a good steak lately, so I thought I would try my hand at broiling them for the first time. They turned out ok, but probably would have been better if I hadn't bought the cheapest toughest steaks available at the store. But the flavor was good, and I enjoyed the goat cheese/butter on the top! The cauliflower and parsnips puree, however, is an entirely different story. Oh sweet deliciousness, I could have eaten it all. I almost did, actually, because I went back for seconds, and it was too amazing to throw it away, so I ate as much as I could possibly handle. We also served these awesome honey cornmeal muffins as well, but I forgot to take pictures of them.






Maple Mustard Glazed Balsamic Steaks with Goat Cheese
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
3 tsp thyme
3 steaks
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
2 TBSP butter, at room temperature

In a large ziplock bag, mix together the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and thyme.
Add steaks to the bag, seal and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Remove the steaks from the marinade and sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over both sides.
Heat the broiler to high.
Grease a broiler pan-rack, place the steaks on the pan and broil for about 6 minutes on each side (for medium-rare).
In a bowl, mix together the butter and goat cheese until smooth.
Spread the goat cheese on the top of each steak and broil for another 30 seconds.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower and Parsnip Mash
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
3 small parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1" chunks
salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup (give or take) milk
2 TBSP (give or take) butter

Preheat oven to 400.
Place the parsnips, shallot, garlic, and olive oil on a jelly roll pan lined with foil.
Roast for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until nicely golden.
Puree until smooth, adding in the milk and butter, and season with salt and pepper.

Chili Lime Chicken Burger



Hello dear friends! I didn't mean to leave you all hanging last week, so I hope you will excuse me! Joel had the whole week off of work and we took serious advantage of it! We got the bikes out of storage (meaning, our closet), fixed them up and attached Ladybug's brand new seat to one and away we went! We did a ton of bike riding all week long, it was so nice being able to be outside, together, enjoying the nice weather and getting a bit of exercise in!


We also had a fantastic Easter weekend. Ladybug participated in her first ever Easter Egg Hunt and LOVED it! She had a ball finding eggs and we had to open each egg as we found it to see what was inside. We went to Easter lunch with some people from church and had a huge smorgasbord of food! We all did a good job of stuffing ourselves silly. (In case you were wondering I took Country Scalloped Corn Casserole and Summer Strawberry Cake!) 



These burgers are seriously delicious! Just a tiny touch of heat, zesty lime and cool guacamole! The recipe makes 4 servings, and since there are 3 of us one was left over (well, 1 and a half was left over - Ladybug doesn't eat that much yet!) Joel and I were eyeing each other over our clean plates, so we had to split the last burger! We cooked ours on a cast iron grill pan, but I bet if you cooked them outside over a fire they would be even better!



Chili Lime Chicken Burger (Iowa Girl Eats)
Yields: 4 Servings

1 lb ground chicken
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red  bell pepper
2 TBSP chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lime, cut in half
4 slices pepper-jack cheese
4 buns
1 avocado
garlic powder
salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine the chicken, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and the juice of half a lime.
Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and form patties.
Heat a large grill pan over medium high heat (or a GRILL!)
Grill the burgers for 3-4 minutes, flip, and grill for another 3-4 minutes on the other side, or until cooked through.
Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger.
Cover the grill pan with a large lid and allow the cheese to melt for 1 minute.
Remove the burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
While the patties are resting, make your guacamole by mashing the avocado, garlic powder, and a touch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Place each burger patty on a bun and top with the guac!
Enjoy!


Cinnamon Baked French Toast



Somedays I feel like this blog is a little one-sided. It sometimes seems like I only ever talk about food here, and occasionally plug in a family fact or cute photo of Ladybug. But I do so much more than play with my daughter and eat food!
Geesh, this photo is terrible!
So sorry, but its rainy and cloudy, and it was the best I could do! :) 

Take books, for instance. I read books ALL the time! I have always been a big reader, ever since I was little. I remember road trips with my family where my father would constantly be yelling at me to put down my book and look out the window at the scenery! I am pretty sure I read through the entire young adult section of my childhood library. I find that I am always giving out book recommendations to my friends, so I thought I should just go ahead and include you, too! If you check out my Inspiration page, I have a whole list of my absolute favorite books on there, and I will keep adding to the list, too.

I have been kind of toying with the idea of expanding my blog a bit. My focus would still definitely be on food, but what would you think if I threw up a book recommendation now and then? Or maybe put in an activity that Ladybug and I have done? Or I crafty thing I made? What do you guys think? Do you want to see more variety here, or just stick with food? (and yes, I know its my blog and I can do whatever I want, but sometimes its nice to know what others think, too!)

This post seriously needed another picture,
so here is one we took when we went to the park yesterday! :) 
Also, I would love to give a big shout out to Jessica from Jessica Sims Design for the awesome new look! Jessica is super sweet and awesome, so if you are looking for a little facelift for your blog, I HIGHLY recommend her! She has cute options for both Blogger and Wordpress, some free, some only $10! Or, if you want something totally custom, she is really affordable, responsive, and fast! Like affordable for real people who just have blogs for hobbies and don't want to pay ridiculous prices just to make their blog look cute. Please go check her out!

Cinnamon Baked French Toast (Pioneer Woman)

1 loaf of crusty sourdough or french bread
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP vanilla extract

topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, cut into pieces and chilled

Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
Tear the bread into chunks and evenly distribute them into the bottom of the pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla.
Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.
Cover tightly and place in the fridge overnight.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt (and a bit of nutmeg, if you like!)
Add the butter pieces and rub into the flour mixture until crumbly.
Store in a ziplock back in the fridge.

Iin the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top.
Bake fore 45 minutes for a softer-pudding type texture or 1 hour for a more firmer texture.
Plate, top with maple syrup, and Enjoy!!

Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread


It must be a miracle, because Joel has an entire week off this week! We are so excited to just be together for a whole week. We have, officially, done nothing all morning long. Well, we did get dressed, we made some coffee, and we might have brushed our teeth. But that is it! The day is being devoted to playing and cuddling and just being for a while.  


And the rest of the week is going to be more of the same. We haven't scheduled any activities, no big outings (there isn't really anything to do here, anyway, and we don't feel like driving 3 hours to the closest zoo). We might pack a few boxes in anticipation of moving, but we aren't in any hurry. We might take a walk later, or maybe play Legos. Whatever happens to sound good at the moment. We are glad to just be together for once. 


This bread was amazing! Now, I have really enjoyed the "artisan peasant" loaves I have been making before now, but this loaf was even better! It was so soft, and perfect for slicing for sandwiches, french toast and toasting! 


Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread (Wild Yeast)
Yield: 1 loaf in an 8.5x4.5" pan

311 grams flour
161.5 grams water
8.1 grams salt
32.5 grams  unsalted butter, at room temperature
15.5 grams honey
16.5 grams milk powder
205.5 grams starter, 100% and well fed


In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attached, combine all of the ingredients except for about 10% of the water. 
Mix at low speed until the ingredients are well incorporated. If you need to add the rest of the water here, you can.
Continue mixing for about 4-5 minutes, or until the gluten has reached a medium level of consistency (click here to find out what that means, if you need to!) 
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container, cover, and let ferment for 1 hour.
Take the dough out of the bowl and give it a few folds. Return to the bowl, cover, and let ferment 1 hour.
Do another round of folds, return to the bowl, cover, and let ferment for 1 hour.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and prehape into a cylinder loaf shape.
Let rest, covered, for 25 minutes.
Generously butter an 8.5"x4.5" loaf pan.
Shape the dough tightly into a loaf shape and place them seam (seam side down) into the loaf pan.
Cover and let rest for 3 hours, or until the top of the loaf has risen to about 1.5 inches above the edge of the pan (mine never got close to this mark, you be the judge here).
Preheat the oven with baking stone, to 425F, and prepare for steam.
Once the loaves are in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400F.
Bake for 15 minutes with steam and then another 10 without.
Remove the bread from the loaf pan and place it directly on the baking stone and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack. 
Enjoy!


I am submitting this loaf to Yeastspotting, a weekly showcase of all things yeasted!
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